January 30, 2011
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, Switzerland: Business Leaders Point to Key Risks Facing Global Economy
• Asset bubbles in emerging markets, soaring commodity prices, state debt are key risks.
• World’s financial system is in better shape than three years ago.
• No consensus on how to tackle high state debt.
Photo: Aerial Photo of Davos, the biggest tourism metropolis of the Swiss alps, captured before the opening of the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 17, 2011. Davos is in the middle of Swiss Alps and the city for holidays, sports, congresses, health, development and culture. © World Economic Forum/Andy Mettler.
Photo: Oriana Bandiera, Professor of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom, is captured during the ‘IdeasLab with the London School of Economics: Doing Better with Less’ at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 26, 2011. © World Economic Forum/Jolanda Flubacher.
Photo: Daniel Goleman, Co-Director, Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations, Rutgers University, USA, speaks during the session ‘The New Reality of Consumer Power’ at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2011. © World Economic Forum/Michael Wuertenberg.
Photo: Om Prakash Bhatt, Chairman, State Bank of India, India, speaks during the session ‘Redeploying Development Finance’ at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2011. © World Economic Forum/Moritz Hager.
Photo: Timothy F. Geithner, US Secretary of the Treasury is captured during the session ‘Priorities for the US Economy’ at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2011. © World Economic Forum/Moritz Hager.
Photo: William H. Gates III, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA, speaks during the session ‘Polio: Eradicating an Old Reality Once and for All’ at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2011. © World Economic Forum/Moritz Hager.
Photo: Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ICICI Bank, India; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011, is captured during the session ‘The Global Agenda in 2011’ at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2011. © World Economic Forum/Sebastian Derungs.
Photo: Francis Gurry, Director-General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva; Global Agenda Council on the Intellectual Property System, is captured during the session ‘The Davos Debrief: Policy Priorities’ at the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2011. © World Economic Forum/Sebastian Derungs.
• Top business leaders see a host of potential dangers facing the world economy - ranging from asset bubbles in emerging market countries to soaring world commodity prices and huge levels of state debt in Europe. However, it is difficult to say just where the next global shock will come from.
On the question of continuing low borrowing costs and cheap money in the most-developed economies, one of the factors that contributed to the global economic crash, participants said that they are confident that the lessons have been learnt and that the global banking system has emerged stronger from the test.
“I am a little optimistic. I think that we have a stronger system than three years ago,” James Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JP Morgan & Chase, said during a debate on whether the world is now better prepared to face a future systemic shock.
But, business leaders were divided on how to approach the issue of huge state debt built up by some European countries during the boom years.. Some saw the need for Europe’s stronger economies, particularly Germany, to take part of the load by supporting, for example, the launch of European Union-backed Eurobonds in support of weaker economies, such as Ireland and Greece.
But Dimon warned that any “socializing” of states’ debts, by involving other European Union countries in financing them, could send out the wrong message on the need for fiscal discipline. “You have got to make sure that some are not piggy-backing on others,” he said.
“Thought, not money, is the real business capital, and if you know absolutely that what you are doing is right, then you are bound to accomplish it in due season.”
— Harvey S. Firestone.
“It is not by augmenting the capital of the country, but by rendering a greater part of that capital active and productive than would otherwise be so, that the most judicious operations of banking can increase the industry of the country.”
— Adam Smith.
January 28, 2011
Global Texting Champions Crowned at the LG Mobile World Cup in New York City
Team Panama Wins USD $100,000 and Claims the Title of Fastest, Most Accurate Texters in the World.
Photo: Sisters from Panama win the 2011 LG Mobile World Cup.
At the second annual LG Mobile World Cup, the sister duo, Cristina Sales Ancines age 20, and Jennifer Sales Ancines, age 15, from Panama, were named as the “World’s Fastest Texters.” They defeated competitors from 16 countries to take home the title of LG Mobile World Cup Champions and $100,000 in prize money.
Demonstrating their skills using the LG BL20 and the LG GT350, Cristina and Jennifer texted their way into World Cup by winning the final round of game play. Contestants from South Korea were placed second and took home $20,000, while team Brazil was placed third and won $10,000.
The 2011 LG Mobile World Cup took place on January 26 in New York City. During the competition, players competed in various texting missions. In each mission, contestants were tasked with the challenge of typing in phrases on their LG mobile devices exactly as they appeared on nearby LG plasma screens with no mistakes or abbreviations.
Finalists selection for the LG Mobile World Cup began with a series of national texting contests across 16 countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Korea, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, South Africa, Thailand and the U.S. After several months, 26 contestants were chosen to compete in the hopes of becoming the word’s fastest texter.
January 27, 2011
Photography: Congo River at Dusk
Photo: Congo River at dusk, near Bokatolaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo. United Nations Photo.
January 23, 2011
UN Security Council Holds Open Debate on Post-conflict Peacebuilding
Photo: A wide view of the Security Council during its open debate, “Post-conflict peacebuilding: institution-building”. January, 21, 2011. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/John McIlwaine.
Photo: Cattle of the Sudanese Dinka people roam through their camp on the oustskirts of Nimule, South Sudan. These Dinka were displaced from their homes in a widespread dispute over land. Nimule, Sudan. UN Photo/Tim McKulka.
• The United Nations Security Council, on January, 21, 2011, acknowledged the need to continue improving its peacebuilding support for countries emerging from conflict.
Peter Wittig (Germany), Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission, said institution-building went beyond creating organizational structures. It involved rebuilding on the basis of “new rules of the game”, from power-sharing and rotation and women’s active participation in decision-making to fair distribution of wealth and economic opportunities. Communities and their organizations, as well as the private sector and civil society, must also be rebuilt. In that regard, the Peacebuilding Commission’s role could be expanded to encourage the identification of crucial institutions and mechanisms that could make post-conflict societies more resilient and better able to address tensions and challenges through non-violent means.
Also addressing the Council were representatives of the United States, France, South Africa, Russian Federation, Colombia, Brazil, Lebanon, Nigeria, India, Gabon, Portugal, China, United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Turkey, Croatia, Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Uganda, Morocco, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Nepal, Australia, Peru, Ukraine, Bangladesh (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Armenia, Slovenia, Serbia, Pakistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Benin, Botswana and Argentina.
The Council emphasized the need for the United Nations and the wider international community to better coordinate and more effectively help nations stabilize in the aftermath of conflict.
“If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.”
— Napoleon Bonaparte
“Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.”
— Proverbs of Solomon 26:20
“And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
— Isaiah 2:4
January 22, 2011
UN Headquarters after Winter Storm
Photo: A view of the UN Headquarters Secretariat building from Headquarters’ Rose Garden after a winter storm. January 14, 2011. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/John McIlwaine.
January 21, 2011
Fashion Week begins in Berlin
Photo: A model shows a creation by designer Dimitri at the start of the Berlin Fashion Week (Foto © Dan & Corina Lecca). Fashion is once again high on the agenda in the German capital. Trade visitors and fashion enthusiasts flooded the event to see the presentations of the designers.
January 20, 2011
Baume & Mercier's Garden Party in Switzerland
Photo: Baume & Mercier’s new ambassador American actress Gwyneth Paltrow (Foto © Nicolas Guerin). On the occasion of the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie), and to mark the start of a new chapter in its 180 year history, Baume & Mercier invited 950 guests to a garden party in Geneva, Switzerland.
Photo: French film actress Mathilda May at the 2011 Baume & Mercier garden party (Foto © Damien Keller).
January 19, 2011
Diplomacy at Work: Proposed China Garden
Photo: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack show Chinese President Hu Jintao a model of the proposed China Garden in the National Arboretum at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on January 19, 2011. [State Department Photo]
January 17, 2011
Car Driving: First Successful Demonstration of Vehicle Platooning
Platooning may be the new way of traveling on motorways in as little as ten years time. EU-financed SARTRE project has just carried out the first successful demonstration of its technology at the Volvo Proving Ground close to Gothenburg, Sweden.
SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) is part-funded by the European Commission and is led by Ricardo UK Ltd. and comprises collaboration between the following additional participating companies: Idiada and Robotiker-Tecnalia of Spain, Institut für Kraftfahrwesen Aachen (IKA) of Germany, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, Volvo Car Corporation, and Volvo Technology of Sweden.
“This is a major milestone for this important European research programme,” says Tom Robinson, SARTRE project coordinator, of Ricardo UK Ltd. “Platooning offers the prospect of improved road safety, better road space utilization, improved driver comfort on long journeys and reduced fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions. With the combined skills of its participating companies, SARTRE is making tangible progress towards the realization of safe and effective road train technology”.
Vehicle platooning, as envisaged by the SARTRE project, is a convoy of vehicles where a professional driver in a lead vehicle drives a line of other vehicles. Each car measures the distance, speed and direction and adjusts to the car in front. All vehicles are totally detached and can leave the procession at any time. But once in the platoon, drivers can relax and do other things while the platoon proceeds towards its long haul destination.
The tests carried out included a lead vehicle and single following car. The steering wheel of the following car moves by itself as the vehicle smoothly follows the lead truck around the country road test track. The driver is able to drink coffee or read a paper, using neither hand nor foot to operate his vehicle.
Platooning is designed to improve a number of things: Firstly road safety, since it minimises the human factor that is the cause of at least 80 percent of the road accidents. Secondly, it saves fuel consumption and thus CO2 emissions with up to 20 percent. It is also convenient for the driver because it frees up time for other matters than driving. And since the vehicles will travel in highway speed with only a few meters gap, platooning may also relieve traffic congestion.
The technology development is well underway and can most likely go into production in a few years time. What may take substantially longer are the public acceptance and the legislation where 25 EU governments must pass similar laws.
January 15, 2011
IBM to Manage Bharti Airtel's Mobile Operations in Africa
Photo: Mobiles in Africa. Johannesburg, South Africa. Source: GSMA & Decisive Media. Photographer: Guy Daniels.
IBM and Bharti Airtel today announced the completion of contract negotiations for technology services spanning 16 African countries. As part of the 10-year agreement, IBM will deploy and manage the information technology (IT) infrastructure and applications to support airtel’s goal of providing affordable and innovative mobile services throughout Africa, the world’s fastest growing mobile market.
IBM will consolidate and transform the 16 different IT environments across airtel’s African operations into an integrated IT system, and will oversee the management of all applications, data center operations, servers, storage and desktop services. IBM will deploy technologies, processes and best practices to enable airtel to offer superior customer experience.
Photo: Mobiles in Africa. Lake Victoria, Uganda. Source: GSMA. Foto Credit: Howard Sayer.
The agreement calls for IBM to provide customer support applications that include customer relationship management, billing, and self-service that will empower customers and assist airtel in delivering innovative and convenient 2G and 3G mobile services.
The agreement extends the relationship between IBM and Bharti airtel established in 2004, when South Asia’s leading mobile communications provider selected IBM to run IT and applications for its entire network in India.
Headquartered in New Delhi, India, Bharti Airtel Limited (Brand: Airtel) is an Indian telecommunications company that operates in 19 countries across South Asia, Africa and the Channel Islands. It operates a GSM network. Airtel is one of the largest telecom operators in the world and is one of the largest cellular service providers in India.
Airtel has African operations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
January 11, 2011
Mercedes-Benz takes off on the first circumnavigation of the world with fuel cell-powered electric vehicles
Mercedes Benz F-CELL World Drive: Around the world in 125 days.
Photo: Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive - 125 days, four continents and 14 countries: Starting on January 30, 2011 in Stuttgart (Germany), three Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL with fuel cell drive will be driving around the globe with zero emissions. The objective is to demonstrate that electric vehicles equipped with fuel cell are technically mature and suitable for everyday use.
Photo: Mercedes-Benz at the NAIAS (North American International Auto Show) 2011 in Detroit. Pop singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat delighted the audience at the Mercedes press conference.
Photo: Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL. With the B-Class F-CELL, Mercedes-Benz launches its first fuel cell-powered electric car produced under series production in the U.S.
January 10, 2011
Hollywood Jewelry Designer Neil Lane's Romantic Jewels
Photo: Diamond Earrings. Hand made in platinum and designed by Neil Lane. Neil Lane is a leading Hollywood jewelry designer.
January 7, 2011
Power to the People: Southwest Windpower Unveils Efficient, Easy-to-Use Small Wind Turbine
Photo: Southwest Windpower unveiled its newest small wind turbine - Skystream 600.
Southwest Windpower today unveiled its newest small wind turbine, Skystream 600, which, according to it, could put wind energy in thousands of homes and businesses worldwide.
The company designs, manufactures and distributes small wind systems (400-3000 watts). According to Southwest Windpower, it has built and shipped more than 170,000 wind turbines to more than 120 countries worldwide and has sales representation in over 88 countries.
Unveiled at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with the backing of GE, in Las Vegas, Skystream 600 produces energy for commercial and residential use providing an average of 7,400 kWh of clean, low-cost energy per year per household in 12 mph average annual wind speeds.
Depending on the wind resource, siting and energy efficiency, a Skystream 600 could provide up to 80 percent of an average home’s energy requirements, says the company.
“Through multiple upgrades, including larger blade design, enhanced software and an improved integrated inverter, Skystream 600 provides users with a more efficient and affordable small wind system,” said Dixon Thayer, chief executive officer of Southwest Windpower. “By reducing electric bills, Skystream 600 helps provide affordable independence and stability to users while producing clean energy that won’t hurt the environment.”
Skystream 600 is part of GE’s “home of the future” exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show, which showcases innovative products designed to help consumers manage home energy generation, cost and consumption.
January 6, 2011
Customer Service With HumanKiosk and Live Video Attendants
Photo: MarketStar and MediaTile have teamed up to give consumers instant access to off-site knowledge experts in a personal, face-to-face manner using MediaTile’s HumanKiosk, powered by MediaCast Video Presence, 4G networking, and MarketStar’s on-call experts. The solution enables on-call experts to cover more shopping venues at a lower cost.
MarketStar, a leader in field, voice and digital sales and marketing, and The MediaTile Company, a leader in cloud-based digital signage solutions, today announced that they will be demonstrating, at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2011), a breakthrough in customer engagement that will allow product experts to be personally accessible to more consumers in retail venues, when and where it is critical to provide immediate, face-to-face interactions with consumers.
The breakthrough solution, called the “HumanKiosk,” can help brands, and other product or service vendors, provide experts in more shopping venues, including remote or secondary markets, without the overhead and costs associated with on-site personnel.
“The HumanKiosk is an innovative and ground-breaking solution whose time has now come,” said Dave Treadway, President and CEO of MarketStar. “Using our remote on-call experts, we can now deliver the same professional services, with the same personal touch, while eliminating the overhead and logistical complexities of travel and scheduling traditionally associated with sending on-site brand advocates or field personnel to every retail location.”
January 4, 2011
2011 North American International Auto Show to Feature 30-40 Worldwide Debuts
Photo: Hundreds of Thousands to Attend 2011 North American International Auto Show. Photo from the 2010 North American International Auto Show. Detroit, Michigan.
Photo: NAIAS attendees will be able to experience the latest in technology in a ride-and-drive format on a track built in Michigan Hall. Photo from the 2010 North American International Auto Show. Detroit, Michigan.
The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will open its doors to more than 4,500 automotive journalists with an anticipated 30-40 worldwide debuts from automotive manufacturers around the globe.
“We’re rapidly approaching January 10th when the door of Cobo Center will once again open to the NAIAS and 2011 will be another banner year for media, industry and the public alike as they will be able to explore a packed show floor,” said Barron Meade, chairman, 2011 NAIAS.
The public and media will be treated to highly anticipated debuts from exhibitors such as Audi, BMW, Chrysler, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen.
Photo: The all-new Honda Fit EV Concept electric vehicle made its world debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 17, 2010. The Fit EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda’s upcoming production Fit EV all-electric vehicle, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012.
In line with trends of other international automotive shows such as Geneva, Paris, and Frankfurt, the first press day, Monday, January 10, at the 2011 Detroit Show will feature exciting worldwide, never-before-seen products. The second press day, Tuesday, January 11, will showcase highly anticipated innovative technological advancements by auto companies and suppliers.
“This year, at all the major international auto shows, Electric Vehicles (EVs) would be the necessary point of interest for the governments, the press, the auxiliary automotive industry, and the car makers themselves.”
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January 1, 2011
IBM Reveals Five Innovations That Will Change Our Lives in the Next Five Years
IBM has unveiled the fifth annual “Next Five in Five” — a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years:
• You’ll beam up your friends in 3-D. • Batteries will breathe air to power our devices. • You won’t need to be a scientist to save the planet. • Your commute will be personalized. • Computers will help energize your city.
Photo: Copenhagen: Wind Power for Cars - These wind turbines on the Danish island of Bornholm will supply power to recharge electric vehicles as part of a pilot project designed to increase the use of EVs and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The EDISON Project is being developed by Copenhagen utility DONG Energy, regional energy company of Oestkraft, the Technical University of Denmark, Siemens, Eurisco and the Danish Energy Association, and IBM, with a goal of creating a nationwide system that could support more 200,000 EVs.
The Next Five in Five is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible.
In the next five years, technology innovations will change people’s lives in the following ways:
• You’ll beam up your friends in 3-D
In the next five years, 3-D interfaces - like those in the movies - will let you interact with 3-D holograms of your friends in real time. Movies and TVs are already moving to 3-D, and as 3-D and holographic cameras get more sophisticated and miniaturized to fit into cell phones, you will be able to interact with photos, browse the Web and chat with your friends in entirely new ways.
Scientists are working to improve video chat to become holography chat - or “3-D telepresence.” The technique uses light beams scattered from objects and reconstructs a picture of that object, a similar technique to the one human eyes use to visualize our surroundings.
You’ll be able to see more than your friends in 3-D, too. Just as a flat map of the earth has distortion at the poles that makes flight patterns look indirect, there is also distortion of data - which is becoming greater as digital information becomes “smarter” - like your digital photo album. Photos are now geo-tagged, the Web is capable of synching information across devices and computer interfaces are becoming more natural.
Scientists at IBM Research are working on new ways to visualize 3-D data, working on technology that would allow engineers to step inside designs of everything from buildings to software programs, running simulations of how diseases spread across an interactive 3-D globe, and visualizing trends happening around the world on Twitter - all in real time and with little to no distortion.
Photo: IBM Test Engineer Sara Lestage holds a 300mm POWER7 processor wafer next to a wafer test tool. The University of Lugano, Switzerland, has been awarded an IBM Power 755 server, which contains a POWER7 processor, as part of a grant to collaborate with IBM to advance the design of future computer systems and applications for multi-core processors.
• Batteries will breathe air to power our devices
Ever wish you could make your laptop battery last all day without needing a charge? Or what about a cell phone that powers up by being carried in your pocket?
In the next five years, scientific advances in transistors and battery technology will allow your devices to last about 10 times longer than they do today. And better yet, in some cases, batteries may disappear altogether in smaller devices.
Instead of the heavy lithium-ion batteries used today, scientists are working on batteries that use the air we breath to react with energy-dense metal, eliminating a key inhibitor to longer lasting batteries. If successful, the result will be a lightweight, powerful and rechargeable battery capable of powering everything from electric cars to consumer devices.
But what if we could eliminate batteries altogether?
By rethinking the basic building block of electronic devices, the transistor, IBM is aiming to reduce the amount of energy per transistor to less than 0.5 volts. With energy demands this low, we might be able to lose the battery altogether in some devices like mobile phones or e-readers.
The result would be battery-free electronic devices that can be charged using a technique called energy scavenging. Some wrist watches use this today - they require no winding and charge based on the movement of your arm. The same concept could be used to charge mobile phones, for example - just shake and dial.
Photo: IBM is helping GM standardize their vehicle design on fewer software tools and a common, collaborative design process, further enabling global engineering teams to work more effectively and seamlessly.
• You won’t need to be a scientist to save the planet
While you may not be a physicist, you are a walking sensor. In five years, sensors in your phone, your car, your wallet and even your tweets will collect data that will give scientists a real-time picture of your environment. You’ll be able to contribute this data to fight global warming, save endangered species or track invasive plants or animals that threaten ecosystems around the world. In the next five years, a whole class of “citizen scientists” will emerge, using simple sensors that already exist to create massive data sets for research.
Simple observations such as when the first thaw occurs in your town, when the mosquitoes first appear, if there’s no water running where a stream should be - all this is valuable data that scientists don’t have in large sets today. Even your laptop can be used as a sensor to detect seismic activity. If properly employed and connected to a network of other computers, your laptop can help map out the aftermath of an earthquake quickly, speeding up the work of emergency responders and potentially saving lives.
IBM recently patented a technique that enables a system to accurately and precisely conduct post-event analysis of seismic events, such as earthquakes, as well as provide early warnings for tsunamis, which can follow earthquakes. The invention also provides the ability to rapidly measure and analyze the damage zone of an earthquake to help prioritize emergency response needed following an earthquake.
The company is also contributing mobile phone “apps” that allow typical citizens to contribute invaluable data to causes, like improving the quality of drinking water or reporting noise pollution. Already, an app called Creek Watch allows citizens to take a snapshot of a creek or stream, answer three simple questions about it and the data is automatically accessible by the local water authority.
Photo: IBM Predictive Analytics Software Helps Marwell Wildlife Analyse Data to Improve Conservation Measures for Grevy’s Zebra. Grevy’s zebra are an endangered species with less than 2,500 individuals in the wild.
• Your commute will be personalized
Imagine your commute with no jam-packed highways, no crowded subways, no construction delays and not having to worry about being late for work. In the next five years, advanced analytics technologies will provide personalized recommendations that get commuters where they need to go in the fastest time. Adaptive traffic systems will intuitively learn traveler patterns and behavior to provide more dynamic travel safety and route information to travelers than is available today.
IBM researchers are developing new models that will predict the outcomes of varying transportation routes to provide information that goes well beyond traditional traffic reports, after-the fact devices that only indicate where you are already located in a traffic jam, and web-based applications that give estimated travel time in traffic.
Using new mathematical models and IBM’s predictive analytics technologies, the researchers will analyze and combine multiple possible scenarios that can affect commuters to deliver the best routes for daily travel, including many factors, such as traffic accidents, commuter’s location, current and planned road construction, most traveled days of the week, expected work start times, local events that may impact traffic, alternate options of transportation such as rail or ferries, parking availability and weather.
For example, by combining predictive analytics with real-time information about current travel congestion from sensors and other data, the system could recommend better ways to get to a destination, such as how to get to a nearby mass transit hub, whether the train is predicted to be on time, and whether parking is predicted to be available at the train station. New systems can learn from regular travel patterns where you are likely to go and then integrate all available data and prediction models to pinpoint the best route.
• Computers will help energize your city
Innovations in computers and data centers are enabling the excessive heat and energy that they give off to do things like heat buildings in the winter and power air conditioning in the summer. Can you imagine if the energy poured into the world’s data centers could in turn be recycled for a city’s use?
Up to 50 percent of the energy consumed by a modern data center goes toward air cooling. Most of the heat is then wasted because it is just dumped into the atmosphere. But with new technologies the thermal energy from a cluster of computer processors can be efficiently recycled to provide hot water for an office or houses, says IBM.